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Puntland Candidates Gearing Up for Elections
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
November 6, 2001
Posted to the web November 6, 2001

Presidential candidates in the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, northeastern Somalia, are gearing up for the elections, which are expected at the end of this week, a local journalist told IRIN. The candidates - 12 in all - had been busy presenting their programmes to the Puntland general conference, Adan Abdirahman Dolar, the editor of the Garowe-based Nugal Times, said. The Puntland general conference, which was first convened on 26 August to elect a new regional administration, is still in session in Garowe, the regional capital.

"The candidates are slated to finish their presentations today, and the elections will start to tomorrow," Dolar said on Tuesday. The presidential elections would be held in three rounds, unless "one candidate manages to get 235 votes from the 468 delegates in the first round", he said. If there is no outright winner in first round, candidates who garner over 60 votes will move to the second round. Of these, only the two who obtain the most votes will then move to the third round, according to Dolar. The winner will be decided by a simple majority vote.

The contest was expected to be between three main contenders, Dolar said. "It will come down to Jama Ali Jama, Abdullahi Abdirahman Ahmad, and Muse Haji Abes," he told IRIN. All three candidates are from the main Majerten clan, which predominates in the Puntland regions. Jama is former army colonel who spent time in the jails of the late dictator, Muhammad Siyad Barre, for his political views. Ahmad is an economist, and Abes a former journalist, Puntland political sources told IRIN.
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